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Dittmar Gallery's Petra Kralickova Exhibit to Explore Act of Longing

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December 5, 2008 | by Judy Moore
EVANSTON, Ill. --- Northwestern University's Dittmar Memorial Gallery will showcase a site-specific installation by artist Petra Kralickova that explores the quietness of yearning, a persistent ache for what is unattainable and out-of-reach.

The Winter 2009 exhibition "Silent Longing" will be open to the public from Jan. 8 through Feb. 8. The public also is invited to attend an opening reception from 7 to 9 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 8, at the gallery, which is located on the first floor of Norris University Center, 1999 Campus Drive, on Northwestern's Evanston campus. The exhibition and the reception are free.

Kralickova's works focus on the reactions and emotions that people try to hold back, yet are unable to conceal entirely. In the exhibition "Silent Longing," Kralickova interprets longing as she understands it through abstracted monochromatic forms, constructing uninhabited cages, idle archways and slumped cord lines.

One of her 2007 works, titled "Unattainable" is simply made from foam pipe and fabric that is seamlessly attached to the wall, creating a sensual yet abandoned sense of emptiness. The work titled "Yearning," another 2007 work, is comprised of multiple narrow fabric sections, each filled with sand and pulled by the filler to its boundaries.

"The various soft and hard materials that I combine, such as wax, fabric, metal or plaster allow me to create forms, textures and colors that reveal the physical body," said Kralickova. "Yet, as I build, I take the body apart. I isolate it, stretch it, and reduce it to its essential and most basic shape. I see the body as a purveyor of memory, revealing both its strength and fragility, while emphasizing a dialogue between the core concepts of concealment, stillness, resilience and tenacity with a sense of loss and dislocation palpable in each installation."

Kralickova, who was born in Czechoslovakia and now lives and works in Athens, Ohio, is the recipient of the Artist Fast Track Grant from the Ohio River Border Initiative Arts Network. For more information on Kralickova and her other projects and awards, and a slideshow of some of her works, visit http://www.petrakralickova.com.

The Dittmar Gallery will be open from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily this winter. For more information, call the gallery at (847) 491-2348 or Norris University Center at (847) 491-2300, e-mail dittmargallery@northwestern.edu or go to the Dittmar Web site at http://www.dittmar.northwestern.edu.
Topics: Campus Life